IPL 2021 RCB Team Preview and Predictions: Can this be the year for Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore?
Virat Kohli's decision to open the batting for RCB alongside Devdutt Padikkal and the inclusion of Glenn Maxwell gives a new look to the RCB batting lineup.
Kohli, de Viliers and Maxwell - how's that for a batting order?
With Josh Philippe having pulled out of IPL 2021 and Virat Kohli looking a million dollars while opening the batting in the T20Is against England, it is certain that the Indian skipper will open the batting alongside Devdutt Padikkal. Padikkal himself was in red-hot form in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare trophy and struck one century after another.
This gives the team an opportunity of batting AB de Villiers at number 3, who can then get a handful of deliveries to do what he does best i.e to destroy the opposition bowling. RCB might have gone overboard in their expenditure with Glenn Maxwell but the big hitting all-rounder presents a great option at number 4 nonetheless.
RCB's long list of all-rounders
The team will then have to pick one between Harshal Patel, Pavan Deshpande and wicketkeeper Mohammad Azharuddeen at number 5. RCB's big-ticket bowling all-rounders Dan Christian and Kyle Jamieson provide heft to their batting.
Offie Washington Sundar will bowl in the powerplay and can also hit a few if need be, lower down the order.
Having released Umesh Yadav, Royal Challengers Bangalore are likely to persist with Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini as their pace bowlers while Yuzvendra Chahal will be their leading spinner.
Maxwell, Christian and Jamieson - RCB's overseas stars
Kyle Jamieson going for plenty in international cricket recently may be cause for worry for RCB. But, they have struck gold in Dan Christian, who they snaffled up for just INR 5 crores in the auctions.
The experienced Australian all rounder is a sensation in the T20 circuit but has not been part of the IPL since 2017. In the last edition of the BBL, Christian picked up 15 wickets at 26.53 and an economy 8.84. At the same time, he struck 272 runs at a strike rate of 182.55 and is a great addition to the RCB squad.
Glenn Maxwell who was bought at 14.25 crores has also improved as a bowler of late and can provide a minimum of two overs on a regular basis. If AB de Villiers is good to keep wickets, it will be another tick for RCB. If not, they will have to play Mohammad Azharuddeen.
Having released Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana and Umesh Yadav, RCB have allowed themselves a few exciting options who can prove to be the difference for them this season.
Top Batsman - Runs Scored - Virat Kohli
Top Bowler - Wickets Taken - Yuzuvender Chahal
Most Sixes - Dan Christian
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohd. Azharuddeen (WK), Kyle Jamieson/Daniel Sams/Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Mohammed Siraj & Yuzuvender Chahal.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) - Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen, Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat
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